The Tigers are hoping to keep the bats on fire this afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. They were in a funk, but have busted through in a big way. Detroit might need all the runs they can get tonight against the Twins. Former Twin, Mike Pelfrey, takes the hill against a lineup that is pretty familiar against him. The one team he always found success against was the Detroit Tigers, now he is pitching for them. Whenever the Tigers had Pelfrey on the schedule, it was a safe bet that he was going to figure out how to make life difficult on them at the plate. Now that he’s on the opposite side, Pelfrey doesn’t have the benefit of getting frequent starts against the Tigers. There hasn’t been much going his way in his first season with the Tigers, as Detroit is desperately hoping they find some reliability in their rotation. Jordan Zimmermann is reliable, who got his fifth win of the month last night, but there is a lot to be desired elsewhere.
The Twins are currently amongst the worst teams in baseball, with a record of 7-17. Meanwhile, the Tigers are looking to take advantage of a slump by the Royals. Detroit sports a record of 13-10, while the Royals are staring at 12-11 after last night in Seattle. The Royals are currently down 5-0, and if it holds up, will need a win tomorrow to avoid a sweep to the Mariners. Do you want to know who is 1st in the AL Central? With a sizable lead at 17-8, the White Sox have jumped out to a quick lead in the race. It’s tough to say this is going to keep going for the White Sox, though. What a way to start the year off after spring training controversy. The Tigers will go for a sweep this afternoon, following a 9-2 and 4-1 wins. Pelfrey will be seeking his first win of the year after a rough 0-4 start. Let’s jump right into it and find a winning pick for Sunday.
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins
Mike Pelfrey (0-4, 4.64 ERA) vs. Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 3.25 ERA)
Ricky Nolasco may be one of the most hot-cold pitchers in the league. This goes for his entire career. He is consistently inconsistent, if that is even a proper term to use. One start it’s 5 runs against, then the next he allows 4 hits and 1 run. Nothing has changed in 2016 in Minnesota. Nolasco has posted a 3.25 ERA, the team has gone 3-0 when he’s on the hump. Although, there’s been good Nolasco and bad Nolasco. In two starts he allowed only 1 run, in the other two outings he allowed 4 runs. He hasn’t had a season since 2013 with an ERA under 5.00.
Pelfrey returns to Minnesota this afternoon, for a meeting of former teammates. Pelfrey has been getting popped in April. He’s allowed nearly 2 runners on base per inning, entering today with a 1.92 WHIP and .414 OBA. He had one good start, but got mashed around in the three others, allowing a total of 15 runs. Pelfrey has allowed a total of 9 runs in his last two starts. Pelfrey spent the past three years in Minnesota, this is his first start against them. I’m afraid that the Twins’ lineup should be able to figure out their former below average teammate out. He doesn’t necessarily have any impressive stuff in his arsenal to rely on. He could be getting some run support this afternoon though, to help him out in his quest for his first win of the 2016 season. Detroit has averaged 7.25 runs over their last four games. The offense is starting to gel. This should be a fun game for the hitters. It favors a play on the OVER 9.
PICK: OVER 9 RUNS (-105)